As part of our inspirational story series about our Youth Goodwill Ambassadors, our next story covers Alfred Shek- an entrepreneur building up a startup- fashion brand Random Walk.
Alfred, could you please shortly describe your story: studying in Denmark and becoming a Youth Goodwill Ambassador?
I came to Denmark because I was awarded a scholarship to study in an international master's program at Aarhus University in August 2014. The program covers my tuition and living expense while I can choose to study in three renowned universities in Denmark, Spain and UK. What I like about the education in Denmark, is the ability to combine social practice into your studies. Students are encouraged to take internships/student-jobs when they study.Being a Youth Goodwill Ambassador, I'm exposed to an international student community and get more opportunities to know working culture in Danish companies. After living here for four years, I feel that networking is an important stepping stone to a successful career.
Where are you coming from?
I'm from China with family background in Hong Kong.
Where did you study?
I gained my bachelor in English and Education in Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, China
What's your story of becoming an enterpreneur?
It was in the first year of my master, me and my classmates were analyzing the existing social problems in Denmark and were planning to submit our idea to Venture Cup Competition. We ended up with so many ideas at initial stages but couldn't decide which one to work on. Then, I've got the internship in Venture Cup for six months, which enlarged my knowledge in startup scenes and I even wrote my thesis about startup economy in Denmark. After I graduated, I had been looking for jobs but unfortunately I didn't get any good offers. So when a friend told me that he was building his startup team in creating a fashion brand, I simply couldn't say no. I like the idea of building something out of nothing. Our brand is called Random Walk. Its inspiration comes from our designer's wandering around Copenhagen. And we hope to create affordable designer scarves to Denmark and the globe.
What would you recommend to other ambitious students who are entrepreneurs at heart?
- First thing, I would recommend you to write down your business idea and participate in Venture Cup competition (haha). They are really willing to help you, connect you with mentors, investors and other resources such as incubators to help you to grow your business and yourself.
- Every university in Denmark has an incubator or entrepreneurship service to help students to develop their ideas.
- Don't hesitate to talk about your ideas, the more you talk about it with someone, the better idea you would develop.
- Final is team building, find the talents and partners that you need to grow together. Networking with those who also share the entrepreneurship mind and get inspired by their ideas and stories.
What coud you sayÂ to students who finished their education and struggle in finding a job?
As in my experience, I'm non-EU citizen, after I finished my education in Denmark, I have two years to stay here in job-hunting. My first suggestion is to gain practical experience through internships/student jobs, some of them will offer you a full-time job afterwards. And make use of other resources such as networking. I participated in the Copenhagen Career Program, where I had also learnt some job-hunting skills. And the most important is, know what you can do and figure out what you want to do. Maximize your resources.